Today’s discussion forum was led by Emma and Beth.
They started of by talking about how illustrators make autonomous decisions about their work based on their own experiences, thus the stereotypes are kept in a circle of art industry.
The next topic that E and B discussed was an illustration by Stephanie Wunderlich for a German magazine. The project was to create an illustration to an article about the chore of cooking around the time of Christmas.
The first illustration that Wunderlich has send to the magazine was of a woman cooking while the rest of the family was decorating the Christmas tree, however the editor of the magazine has stated that it represents a stereotypical image of the task and would prefer if it was a man who cooked (image on the right).
It seemed as a good illustration, therefore it was accepted, however E and B pointed out to us how over the top the new image was and how it is stereotyping the view of the homosexual men:
– the pinched fingers;
-baubles around shoulders;
-glass of wine in the other hand;
Moreover, we noticed the typical stereotyped colours of blue for a man and red/pink for the woman.
We talked about the fact that a man is wearing a chefs hat, while the woman doesn’t have it, the same about the wine glass.
At the same time we speculated that Wunderlich wanted to exaggerate the stereotypes on purpose, as well as the possibility that these illustrations are created in a way to appeal to the magazine’s audience who prefer the stereotyped illustrations.
The next point of the discussion were the Guerilla Girls, a group of anonymous females who appear in public wearing gorilla masks. They produce posters, books and events that aim to expose sexism and racism in politics and the art/media industry, by using humour to convey the message and infomation and to further provoke disscussion.
We have disscussed the poster below:
The media is what drives the stereotype, by appealing certain types of audiences, who then pass on the stereotypes that they have seen, read, experienced and pass it on in a circle to others, what ends up in the media again.
Stereotypes derive from the majority.
Further we have talked about video games and the limits of women exposure within them: i.e FIFA (female players are available only in exhibition games; their forms are very basic); Lara Croft (oversexualised women); with Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed being a more open games with more female gamers and characters in the games.
Also, for children, most of the video games that are online are stereotyped: girls play dress ups and colouring ins, while boys are able to play the more adventorous games, like car racing, puzzles, logical games.
However, the big question is whether it is the parents themselves who prefer to provide their children with gender specified games that further deepen the stereotypes?
I think it all depends on our perspective on the topic and how we ourselves utilize our experiences, knowledge and open mindness.
Powerful illustrations of women against social prejudices.